The President’s Perspective
by Jeff Olson

Greetings and Happy International Credit Union Week!

We are one week into our new name as the Dakota Credit Union Association (DAKCU). We announced the re-brand during the Summit meetings last week in Sioux Falls. In case you missed it, you can watch the history of our association and the reasoning for the changes in the video launch here.

Celebrating 72 years of International Credit Union Day.

Each year ICU Day is held on the third Thursday of October during National Co-op Month to celebrate the spirit of the global credit union movement. Through ICU Day festivities worldwide, credit unions and leagues raise awareness through outreach in their communities. This year's global health crisis has been trying for many, but credit unions stayed true to their cooperative principles and stepped up during this time of economic uncertainty. This year's ICU Day theme “Inspiring hope for a global community” truly reflects how credit unions contribute to a brighter future for individuals and communities by providing financial empowerment to people all over the world through financial services, education and support.

Here’s some additional information. The Credit Union National Association Economics & Statistics Report estimates that South Dakota credit unions provide nearly $31M in direct financial benefits annually to the state’s 293,200 members through lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and fewer fees. This is a direct benefit of $107 per member – or about $225 per household. In North Dakota, the annual estimated benefits of credit unions amounted to over $29M in savings to 210,100 members. This is equivalent to $117 per member – or about $245 per household.

What better way to show how credit unions from across the Dakotas also provide hope through financial services, education and support than to highlight how credit unions have advanced the lives of members during the economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic? We’re asking all of our Dakota credit unions to share their ICU Day stories and highlights on social media using #ICUDay. This year, our celebrations may look a little different, but our accomplishments are well worth noting!

Board Approves 2021 Dues Freeze for DAKCU Members.

To provide affiliated members some relief during these unusual times, the Dakota Credit Union Association Board of Directors has approved a freeze on association dues for 2021. This means that we will be using each credit union’s 2019 year-end assets to determine affiliation dues for the coming year. CUNA dues will also provide members some relief for 2021; in September the CUNA Board approved a dues formula that will use a credit union’s asset size as of March 31, 2020. There is an additional silver lining for next year, as you’ll know what your dues investment will be heading into your 2021 budget planning rather than having to wait to see your year-end assets. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions on next year’s dues.

DAKCU Elects Officers and Welcomes New Director.

Following the 14th annual business meeting of the association, the DAKCU Board elected their officers for 2021. Jarrod Reisner, SVP and CFO at Black Hills Federal will serve as Chair; Melanie Stillwell, President/CEO of Western Cooperative Credit Union will serve as First Vice Chair; Sean Rinkenberger, CFO First Community Credit Union, Second Vice Chair;  and Lacy Fetsch, CEO University FCU will serve as Secretary/Treasurer for both DAKCU and the Dakota League Service Corps. The Directors also welcomed Dawn VanAsh, President/CEO of Oahe FCU to the board. Dawn was elected as the SD Division B Director and will serve a three-year term.

The Dakota League Service Corps will be led by Darla Schafer, President/CEO Flasher Community CU as Chair; Jerry Peterson, volunteer at Consumer FCU will serve as First Vice Chair; Dawn VanAsh will serve as Second Vice Chair.

Please note that the 15th annual DAKCU business meeting will be held on May 5th, 2021 in Fargo at the Delta Hotel and Convention Center.

Leaving a Credit Union Legacy – Hall of Fame Inductees.

Last week we celebrated the credit union careers of Dan Cumbee and Roger Peters as both were inducted into the Dakota CU Hall of Fame. Collectively, these leaders served the movement in South Dakota a combined 77 years (Dan = 33; Roger = 44). Both successfully improved the lives of their members and served their respective communities, and each led by example. I encourage you to watch the videos that were shown during their induction.

Dan Cumbee, Dakotaland FCU, Huron, SD (1987-2020) Hall of Fame Induction Video

Roger Peters, Service First FCU, Sioux Falls, SD (1965-2009) Hall of Fame Induction Video


Have a great week!




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